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Purpose

The purpose of this study was to explore the factors influencing post-traumatic growth in breast cancer patients during 3 years after diagnosis.

Materials and methods

Our longitudinal study involved 71 medium and high-risk breast cancer patients, who received special attention and either hypnosis or music psychological intervention while receiving the same chemotherapy protocol. The influences of the interventions, as well as the demographic (age, marital status, and educational level) and psychosocial factors (coping, post-traumatic stress, and well-being), on post-traumatic growth were explored.

Results

The results showed that over 97% of our patients experienced post-traumatic growth. It was positively associated with Quality of Life domains 3 years after diagnosis, and with Psychological Immune Competence cumulative scores after treatment and 3 years after diagnosis. Psychological Immune Competence, emotional severity of post-traumatic stress symptoms, and the social support scale of Quality of Life explained 33.9% of the variance of post-traumatic growth.

Conclusion

The results confirm that positive coping strategies, emotional severity of post-traumatic stress symptoms, and social support contribute to post-traumatic growth, and that post-traumatic growth has a weak to moderate association with quality of life.

Open access

Purpose

The effectiveness of psychotherapeutic techniques with breast cancer patients has been extensively studied; however, there is limited information available on subjective experiences of patients. The aim of this study was to establish a category system and describe the characteristics of patients’ subjective experiences in three different intervention groups: hypnosis, music, and special attention.

Materials and methods

Content analysis of short interviews after 21 sessions of intervention was conducted to examine and compare subjective experiences in hypnosis, music, and special attention. Two types of coding system were developed: Characteristics of Involvement (CI) and Intensity of Involvement (II).

Results

Based on CI, the most dominant subjective experience of breast cancer patients was the “Pleasant Somatic Experience.” Furthermore, “Visualisation of Symbols” was the most frequent in the hypnosis intervention. Based on II, most common experience of the special attention group was coded as “low intensity.” The frequencies of “low/high intensity” experiences were different between hypnosis and music interventions. “High intensity” was more dominant in hypnosis than music intervention.

Conclusions

Both category systems may be reliable tools to examine patients’ subjective experience. Hypnosis as intervention can result in more extended subjective experiences in CI and II.

Open access